Arjunas Penance, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu - Architecture, Stone Carving, Scenic Beauty

Temple, Scenic, Handicrafts, Art Gallery

Built around mid 7th century, the Arjuna’s Penance is a huge bas-relief erected on two massive boulders. With having a length of 31 m and height of 9 m, this monolithic rock sculpture is one of the biggest open-air rock canvases across the globe. Several myths are associated with this structure and according to one, Arjuna performed penance here to procure the weapon of Lord Shiva. Another popular myth states the tale of King Bhagiratha who performed penance at this place in order to bring the River Ganga on the Earth from heaven. The surface of the rock is engraved beautifully with detailed carvings of various birds and animal figures especially of the monkeys and elephants. Moreover it also has more than 100 figures of different gods and divine creatures that are remarkable of their vitality and present a unique specimen of architectural skill of the era.

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